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#2062656 - 04/10/13 11:43 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7514
Loc: New York City
Talent is important. Work is even more important. I think we're all agreed on this point. You can't be successful with one and not the other.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2062658 - 04/10/13 11:46 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Mwm]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19658
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Why has no one here spoken about natural musical ability?....

Lots of us have.
I think that's essentially what we take "talent" to mean.

Perhaps some of us view talent as also including natural physical ability. But to me, it's mostly what you said up there, and I'd guess it is so for most who've emphasized talent.

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#2062774 - 04/11/13 06:41 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19228
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: hotcat
Originally Posted By: JoelW
[quote=pianoloverus]To become a virtuoso, one must be born with the necessary talent. Without this talent, no matter how dedicated, it is impossible to achieve such status.


Is there any way of knowing if one has the requisite talent to become a virtuoso? Or does one just forge ahead? I've wondered this a lot. I know that I've got some talent, and I work really hard, and I steadily improve. But at some point will my talent "run out"? Will I just hit a pleateau someday and stop getting any better? I hope not...

"Talent" is the byproduct of "work". The harder you work, the greater "talent" you will have.
I think talent is almost exclusively used to mean ability that is innate and independent of work. I think just checking in a dictionary will verify this.

I'm using your post, but in response to both you and Joel:

Find me someone who has all the talent in the world, but has never touched a piano, and then have that person play the Rach 3 note-perfect in time with a proper orchestra, and then I will agree that hard work has nothing to do with it. wink

To me, "talent" is an overused term by those who, by choice or by accident, do not work hard enough or correctly enough to get where it is they want to go.

I'm going to use a quote Bobpickle posted up a few days ago about a completely different subject, but ironically enough, I think it fits here:

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”
--Calvin Coolidge

I agree with the former president. Unless you're missing a hand, in which case, playing with two hands is out of your realm of possibility, there are only two ways to get where you want to go (and/or to reach the pinnacle of your endeavor): hard work and persistence.
You're arguing against something that wasn't said. No one has said that hard work has nothing to do with being able to play the piano at at high level. No one has said that talent alone was sufficient. What I and others said was that talent and hard work are separate and that just using the dictionary will verify this.

Many, but not all, would say that without great talent it is very hard or impossible to reach the highest level even with great persistence and excellent teaching, but that is a separate issue.

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#2062776 - 04/11/13 06:47 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19228
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Derulux

We can, however, find plenty of "talented" people who never made it, who were never successful, who could have done anything but didn't. So, there, we can prove that "talent" is certainly not nearly as important as hard work and persistence. Can we completely deny it? No, for the reasons I pointed out earlier.
This simply means talent is not alone sufficient.

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#2062779 - 04/11/13 07:07 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19228
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Derulux
I really hate getting into semantics, but if you look up "talent" in the dictionary (which pianoloverus seemed to think would be necessary, so I did it), you get everything from, "a capacity for achievement or success," to "natural ability".
I think both those definitions indicate talent is viewed as innate.

Originally Posted By: Derulux
I argue that there is no such thing as "natural ability". There is only "ability". That is, you are capable of doing what you have already done. No one sits down at the piano and, through sheer natural talent, plays Liszt on day one. You learn, you work hard, then you do well.
But "natural ability" is very common English usage. If you are only capable of doing what you've already done no one could do anything for the first time. The most talented are capable of learning and progressing much faster than less talented. That is why most of the great pianists were playing so well at such a young age. Even if they started very young and practiced at lot they didn't have time to put in enough hours so that the hours alone could result in their incredibly fast progress.

No one said, as per your example of playing Liszt, that talent allows one to instantly play anything. No one says talent alone is sufficient. But some would say that talent allows one to progress much faster nad further than others with less talent.

Kissin is an example of clearly measurable talent at a young age. If you listen to Kissin talk about how he practiced as a child, it is amazing to hear how little he practiced in the beginning. Yet he, of course, progressed with phenomenal rapidity. He was singing the subjects from Bach Fugues his sister or mother were playing when he was two or three. When he was interviewed for the Gnessin school he was asked to do all kinds of things that only children with the greatest talent could do.

There are ways to test musical talent. If there wasn't how do you think schools like Gnessin decide who will be admitted?



Edited by pianoloverus (04/11/13 09:00 AM)

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#2062784 - 04/11/13 07:44 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4762
Loc: USA
The previous three posts are sound.

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#2062804 - 04/11/13 09:02 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: JoelW]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19658
Loc: New York
The previous 4 posts are sound. grin



BTW, music is sound.....most of the time anyway. ha

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#2062808 - 04/11/13 09:17 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Mark_C]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Actually, the previous two posts are writing.

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#2062871 - 04/11/13 11:47 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Mwm]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4762
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Actually, the previous two posts are writing.


Yes they are.

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#2062890 - 04/11/13 12:16 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: pianoloverus]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5286
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: hotcat
Originally Posted By: JoelW
[quote=pianoloverus]To become a virtuoso, one must be born with the necessary talent. Without this talent, no matter how dedicated, it is impossible to achieve such status.


Is there any way of knowing if one has the requisite talent to become a virtuoso? Or does one just forge ahead? I've wondered this a lot. I know that I've got some talent, and I work really hard, and I steadily improve. But at some point will my talent "run out"? Will I just hit a pleateau someday and stop getting any better? I hope not...

"Talent" is the byproduct of "work". The harder you work, the greater "talent" you will have.
I think talent is almost exclusively used to mean ability that is innate and independent of work. I think just checking in a dictionary will verify this.

I'm using your post, but in response to both you and Joel:

Find me someone who has all the talent in the world, but has never touched a piano, and then have that person play the Rach 3 note-perfect in time with a proper orchestra, and then I will agree that hard work has nothing to do with it. wink

To me, "talent" is an overused term by those who, by choice or by accident, do not work hard enough or correctly enough to get where it is they want to go.

I'm going to use a quote Bobpickle posted up a few days ago about a completely different subject, but ironically enough, I think it fits here:

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”
--Calvin Coolidge

I agree with the former president. Unless you're missing a hand, in which case, playing with two hands is out of your realm of possibility, there are only two ways to get where you want to go (and/or to reach the pinnacle of your endeavor): hard work and persistence.
You're arguing against something that wasn't said. No one has said that hard work has nothing to do with being able to play the piano at at high level. No one has said that talent alone was sufficient. What I and others said was that talent and hard work are separate and that just using the dictionary will verify this.

Many, but not all, would say that without great talent it is very hard or impossible to reach the highest level even with great persistence and excellent teaching, but that is a separate issue.

That's not my argument. My argument is that "talent" is a useless word to describe results, and not a clear measure of potential (which cannot, in fact, be measured). Therefore, "talent" is meaningless, and the only thing that matters is hard work and persistence.

If you can somehow develop a measure of talent, where no one in the history of the world has ever been able to do so, I should like to change my argument to be more agreeable with everyone else. smile
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

Top
#2062898 - 04/11/13 12:47 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19228
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Derulux
That's not my argument. My argument is that "talent" is a useless word to describe results, and not a clear measure of potential (which cannot, in fact, be measured). Therefore, "talent" is meaningless, and the only thing that matters is hard work and persistence.

If you can somehow develop a measure of talent, where no one in the history of the world has ever been able to do so, I should like to change my argument to be more agreeable with everyone else. smile
How do you think Gnessin auditions students?

Listen to this video about Kissin starting at 11:40 and you can hear about Kissin's audition at Gnessin.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MunHV8eYOcM

You can also hear about how little he practiced in the beginning of his studies despite his lightning progress. If that doesn't imply talent I don't know what does. Or listen at 19:30 about how at age of 11 months he sang the theme of a Bach fugue his sister was studying.

It sounds like you want some scientific measure of talent as if one was measuring temperature or speed. That doesn't apply to musical talent or any musical performance. But that doesn't mean most can't agree who has a great deal of talent.


Edited by pianoloverus (04/11/13 12:48 PM)

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#2062900 - 04/11/13 12:50 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Therefore, "talent" is meaningless, and the only thing that matters is hard work and persistence.


This is like saying there is no such thing as IQ, and thus anyone with enough work and persistence can learn and do anything.

It is hard to believe that anyone would think that to be true.

Certainly few if any piano teachers believe that talent is not an important factor in learning to play, and to play well.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#2062901 - 04/11/13 12:51 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: rocket88]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4762
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: rocket88
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Therefore, "talent" is meaningless, and the only thing that matters is hard work and persistence.


This is like saying there is no such thing as IQ, and thus anyone with enough work and persistence can learn and do anything.


I was going to make the same comparison. I'm glad you did. smile

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#2062902 - 04/11/13 12:53 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2406
Originally Posted By: King Cole
I must say a lot of people want to know what level I am and as I said I've started 5 months ago so the skill level should be obvious and I'm not going to post any video of me just yet.


Oh, no ! You have just lost a LIFETIME opportunity to learn my secret of becoming a VIRTUOSO. ha
OK. Joking aside, it is good to see that you are realizing that your questions are not meaningful at such an early stage.


Originally Posted By: King Cole
It seems that this guy can probably do it all... lol. How long does it take to get this good? <-- Not a serious question


Now, first things first. The definition. What do we (I) understand from VIRTUOSITY ?
First of all this guy is not a virtuoso. As for your question, work hard for 6-8 years and you will be as good as him. The actual time will vary according to your TALENT and TEACHER.

Hope this helps.
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

http://www.youtube.com/user/hakkithepianist

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#2062910 - 04/11/13 01:16 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: pianoloverus]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5286
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Derulux
That's not my argument. My argument is that "talent" is a useless word to describe results, and not a clear measure of potential (which cannot, in fact, be measured). Therefore, "talent" is meaningless, and the only thing that matters is hard work and persistence.

If you can somehow develop a measure of talent, where no one in the history of the world has ever been able to do so, I should like to change my argument to be more agreeable with everyone else. smile
How do you think Gnessin auditions students?

Listen to this video about Kissin starting at 11:40 and you can hear about Kissin's audition at Gnessin.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MunHV8eYOcM

You can also hear about how little he practiced in the beginning of his studies despite his lightning progress. If that doesn't imply talent I don't know what does. Or listen at 19:30 about how at age of 11 months he sang the theme of a Bach fugue his sister was studying.

It sounds like you want some scientific measure of talent as if one was measuring temperature or speed. That doesn't apply to musical talent or any musical performance. But that doesn't mean most can't agree who has a great deal of talent.

Out of sheer good humor, I listened to Kissin speak about his audition. It is interesting what he says. If he had been speaking about measuring "talent", he would have said things like, "She recognized that I was capable of doing [x]." But what he said was, "I was doing many interesting things, playing the Nutcracker, the 3rd Chopin Ballade, improvising. She would ask me to improvise about the dark forest and then about the bright sun, and then she would ask me to repeat what I had just played and I wouldn't be able to. I wouldn't remember anything. She wouldn't believe this, and would ask me to play another waltz or another march, and I would play something completely different."

I'm sorry to disappoint you, but absolutely none of this measures talent. It measures ability. Ability to put out what you've worked so hard for, and persisted so long at, developing.

Case in point: the closest thing in the world to measuring "talent" is called an IQ test. However, an IQ test doesn't measure what you are capable of learning (which would be true "talent"), it only measures what you have already learned on an average scale of how fast you may have learned it. If you were to ask any psychologist, they will tell you that the IQ test is insufficient to measure exactly what it was designed to measure, because what they are trying to measure cannot, in fact, be measured.

I'll use physics. Take "potential" energy, which is, for all intents and purposes, the "talent" of an unmoving object. (Closest thing to a "talented rock" I can think of.) You don't measure the rock's "potential". What you measure is, if the rock starts moving, how far it is capable of going and with what force. So, you can't even measure a rock's "talent".

"Talent" is an excuse. Like the rock, we measure how far a person goes. We measure what they've worked hard and persisted to achieve, and if they become Evgeny Kissin, we say, "Oh, my! That person is incredibly talented!" But if they don't, we say, "Oh, it's okay. That person wasn't talented enough to get there."

Quote:
If that doesn't imply talent I don't know what does.

Two thousand years ago, a thunderstorm would ravage the Greek coast, and lightning would destroy a village. If that doesn't imply that Zeus (and the other gods) exist, I don't know what does. wink

Quote:
It sounds like you want some scientific measure of talent as if one was measuring temperature or speed. That doesn't apply to musical talent or any musical performance. But that doesn't mean most can't agree who has a great deal of talent.

If you can't measure it, then it either doesn't exist or we don't understand its principles well enough yet to define it properly.

Originally Posted By: rocket88
This is like saying there is no such thing as IQ, and thus anyone with enough work and persistence can learn and do anything.

I was HOPING someone would bring that up! Unfortunately, my patience wore out before I got to your post.. haha laugh See above. I actually just addressed this. smile
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2062914 - 04/11/13 01:21 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8825
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Therefore, "talent" is meaningless, and the only thing that matters is hard work and persistence.

This comes up in one guise or another every now and then. Taken to its logical conclusion, if all that mattered was hard work and persistence, then anyone could potentially be a Kissin.

Yet we know it doesn't work that way, and I find it extraordinary that Derulux -whose posts I generally admire- really believes that... or perhaps I'm just misinterpreting.

(Edit: my post crossed with Derulux above.)


Edited by argerichfan (04/11/13 01:23 PM)
_________________________
Jason

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#2062919 - 04/11/13 01:29 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: argerichfan]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Therefore, "talent" is meaningless, and the only thing that matters is hard work and persistence.

This comes up in one guise or another every now and then. Taken to its logical conclusion, if all that mattered was hard work and persistence, then anyone could potentially be a Kissin.

Yet we know it doesn't work that way, and I find it extraordinary that Derulux -whose posts I generally admire- really believes that... or perhaps I'm just misinterpreting.

(Edit: my post crossed with Derulux above.)


As I said in my previous post, I do not think any piano teacher believes that talent is not an important factor in learning and playing.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#2062922 - 04/11/13 01:35 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: argerichfan]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5286
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Therefore, "talent" is meaningless, and the only thing that matters is hard work and persistence.

This comes up in one guise or another every now and then. Taken to its logical conclusion, if all that mattered was hard work and persistence, then anyone could potentially be a Kissin.

Yet we know it doesn't work that way, and I find it extraordinary that Derulux -whose posts I generally admire- really believes that... or perhaps I'm just misinterpreting.

(Edit: my post crossed with Derulux above.)

First, thank you for the kind words. smile

To address the differences, I will say simply (hopefully) that I believe anyone can play as well as Evgeny Kissin. I honestly do. I believe that every single person has the ability to do whatever it is they want to do, if they are willing to work hard and persist.

I don't, however, think anybody can "be" Evgeny Kissin. That relies on the whim of others-- who gets sick and cancels a concert, and wham! you're in, or who accepts you to which school, or who has the greater marketability to a European vs an American audience, or whether there is enough room in the industry to support another "star", or any number of factors outside the control of the pianist. That is the nature of a subjective industry.
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

Top
#2062925 - 04/11/13 01:38 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: argerichfan]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2406
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Therefore, "talent" is meaningless, and the only thing that matters is hard work and persistence.

This comes up in one guise or another every now and then. Taken to its logical conclusion, if all that mattered was hard work and persistence, then anyone could potentially be a Kissin.

Yet we know it doesn't work that way, and I find it extraordinary that Derulux -whose posts I generally admire- really believes that... or perhaps I'm just misinterpreting.

(Edit: my post crossed with Derulux above.)


Ditto.
I too am having a hard time to believe that he believes what he is saying.
There might be some confusion about semantics, but more or less everybody means, some sort of special natural ability that someone is born with, when talking about talent in the musical world.
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

http://www.youtube.com/user/hakkithepianist

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#2062932 - 04/11/13 01:44 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4762
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Derulux

If you can't measure it, then it either doesn't exist or we don't understand its principles well enough yet to define it properly.


We can, in theory, measure it.

Hypothetical situation here: two students start playing piano at the age of 8. They have the same teacher. Both students remain with this teacher for five years. In this time, the students have maintained an equal passion and work ethic, but one of the students is noticeably better than the other. The kid has more talent than the other. See?

Talent just has to do with the way the brain is wired up. Everyone is different. Some people's brains are wired up to be great mathematicians, others for music, and everything in between.

Think of it like bodybuilding. An ectomorph will never be able to beat a mesomorph in a bodybuilding contest even if he worked twice as hard as the mesomorph.



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#2062939 - 04/11/13 01:56 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19228
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Derulux
That's not my argument. My argument is that "talent" is a useless word to describe results, and not a clear measure of potential (which cannot, in fact, be measured). Therefore, "talent" is meaningless, and the only thing that matters is hard work and persistence.

If you can somehow develop a measure of talent, where no one in the history of the world has ever been able to do so, I should like to change my argument to be more agreeable with everyone else. smile
How do you think Gnessin auditions students?

Listen to this video about Kissin starting at 11:40 and you can hear about Kissin's audition at Gnessin.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MunHV8eYOcM

You can also hear about how little he practiced in the beginning of his studies despite his lightning progress. If that doesn't imply talent I don't know what does. Or listen at 19:30 about how at age of 11 months he sang the theme of a Bach fugue his sister was studying.

It sounds like you want some scientific measure of talent as if one was measuring temperature or speed. That doesn't apply to musical talent or any musical performance. But that doesn't mean most can't agree who has a great deal of talent.

Out of sheer good humor, I listened to Kissin speak about his audition. It is interesting what he says. If he had been speaking about measuring "talent", he would have said things like, "She recognized that I was capable of doing [x]." But what he said was, "I was doing many interesting things, playing the Nutcracker, the 3rd Chopin Ballade, improvising. She would ask me to improvise about the dark forest and then about the bright sun, and then she would ask me to repeat what I had just played and I wouldn't be able to. I wouldn't remember anything. She wouldn't believe this, and would ask me to play another waltz or another march, and I would play something completely different."

I'm sorry to disappoint you, but absolutely none of this measures talent. It measures ability. Ability to put out what you've worked so hard for, and persisted so long at, developing.

Case in point: the closest thing in the world to measuring "talent" is called an IQ test. However, an IQ test doesn't measure what you are capable of learning (which would be true "talent"), it only measures what you have already learned on an average scale of how fast you may have learned it. If you were to ask any psychologist, they will tell you that the IQ test is insufficient to measure exactly what it was designed to measure, because what they are trying to measure cannot, in fact, be measured.

I'll use physics. Take "potential" energy, which is, for all intents and purposes, the "talent" of an unmoving object. (Closest thing to a "talented rock" I can think of.) You don't measure the rock's "potential". What you measure is, if the rock starts moving, how far it is capable of going and with what force. So, you can't even measure a rock's "talent".

"Talent" is an excuse. Like the rock, we measure how far a person goes. We measure what they've worked hard and persisted to achieve, and if they become Evgeny Kissin, we say, "Oh, my! That person is incredibly talented!" But if they don't, we say, "Oh, it's okay. That person wasn't talented enough to get there."

Quote:
If that doesn't imply talent I don't know what does.

Two thousand years ago, a thunderstorm would ravage the Greek coast, and lightning would destroy a village. If that doesn't imply that Zeus (and the other gods) exist, I don't know what does. wink

Quote:
It sounds like you want some scientific measure of talent as if one was measuring temperature or speed. That doesn't apply to musical talent or any musical performance. But that doesn't mean most can't agree who has a great deal of talent.

If you can't measure it, then it either doesn't exist or we don't understand its principles well enough yet to define it properly.

Originally Posted By: rocket88
This is like saying there is no such thing as IQ, and thus anyone with enough work and persistence can learn and do anything.

I was HOPING someone would bring that up! Unfortunately, my patience wore out before I got to your post.. haha laugh See above. I actually just addressed this. smile
I will only say I cannot agree with virtually a single thing you wrote. Just one point: Did you realize that what Kissin did at his audition most people can't do after a lifetime of practice and he clearly hadn't spent endless hours learning how to do this because he was so young at the time? Hence the title of the video "The Gift of Music". To deny that someone like Kissin has a gift or talent really makes no sense.

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#2062944 - 04/11/13 02:02 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6074
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Therefore, "talent" is meaningless, and the only thing that matters is hard work and persistence.

This comes up in one guise or another every now and then. Taken to its logical conclusion, if all that mattered was hard work and persistence, then anyone could potentially be a Kissin.

To address the differences, I will say simply (hopefully) that I believe anyone can play as well as Evgeny Kissin. I honestly do.


Can everyone potentially jump as high as Dick Fosbury, sing as low as Barry White, understand math as well as Isaac Newton? Do you deny physical and mental differences between people as factors?
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#2062946 - 04/11/13 02:05 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: JoelW]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Originally Posted By: Derulux

If you can't measure it, then it either doesn't exist or we don't understand its principles well enough yet to define it properly.


1. If you can't measure something, that does not mean that it doesn't exist. There are many things that we cannot measure, yet they exist, and have an impact upon our lives. For example, we sometimes cannot measure the extended long-term negative effects of a new medical drug, yet the drug certainly does exist.

2. If we cannot fully understand something, and thus define it "properly", (talent, for example), that should not mean that we not view it as a component of learning.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#2062952 - 04/11/13 02:16 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4762
Loc: USA
I don't think anyone is going to convince Derulux.

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#2062954 - 04/11/13 02:23 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: JoelW]
King Cole Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/12
Posts: 33
Loc: Louisiana
Originally Posted By: JoelW

We can, in theory, measure it.

Hypothetical situation here: two students start playing piano at the age of 8. They have the same teacher. Both students remain with this teacher for five years. In this time, the students have maintained an equal passion and work ethic, but one of the students is noticeably better than the other. The kid has more talent than the other. See?

Talent just has to do with the way the brain is wired up. Everyone is different. Some people's brains are wired up to be great mathematicians, others for music, and everything in between.

Think of it like bodybuilding. An ectomorph will never be able to beat a mesomorph in a bodybuilding contest even if he worked twice as hard as the mesomorph.




Well as a biologist I can say that you are just simply wrong... ectomorph, mesomorph nonsense is simply scientifically unfounded. Look up the scientific studies on how the scientist came to those conclusions. Its laughable. People are more susceptible to obesity due to sugar and starch and some people have slightly better muscle building potential but not by much. And for you to go use such a simple hypothetical is absurd. Two students with the same teacher for 5 years? Really? You say nothing about their parents, motivation, work ethic amount of practice, lifestyle, persistence etc. Honestly it would be a miracle if they were at the exact same playing level. Once again you are trying to simplify a complex issue.

Iq doesn't work either. There have been countless studies that tracked kids with high IQs only to find no correlation with adult success. There was even a study done with Nobel Laureates (the people who make the most significant achievements in their field) and they saw that past an IQ of 120 there was no correlation to achievement which suggests that once one reached a certain level of intelligence things like creativity, persistence, determination etc., take over and become much better indicators of success. But some people are so convinced that this esoteric idea of talent is so profoundly indicative of one's chances of reaching a high playing level that it's almost absurd.

You can't even measure talent and if we can't why does it matter? How in the world does it help anyone by telling them you need to have the talent first? Should that child go on a quest for talent? Should that deprive them of working as hard as anyone else? Human beings are one of the most genetically uniform species on the planet. We are practically identical because humans who can speak languages all descended from a group in the horn of african about 70,000 years ago. The thought that only a few human beings have this special gene that allows them to use complex movements on a piano sounds more and more like an outdated tribal dogmatic concept that has no reasonable utility.
_________________________
"What is genius? To aspire to a lofty aim and to will the means to that aim" -Nietzsche

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#2062958 - 04/11/13 02:25 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Mark_C]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Why has no one here spoken about natural musical ability?....

Lots of us have.
I think that's essentially what we take "talent" to mean.

Perhaps some of us view talent as also including natural physical ability. But to me, it's mostly what you said up there, and I'd guess it is so for most who've emphasized talent.


That is a good point. Early in my teaching career, I had several young students who were very bright, did well in the advanced classes at school, and who also did very well in the grade 1 - 2 piano books.

They sped thru them, played everything fairly well, and quickly grasped the intellectual concepts of theory.

So, I made the mistake of classifying them as "musically talented".

Unfortunately, as time progressed, I soon deduced that although they were quite smart, and thus able to learn the simple things, that did not indicate true "natural musical ability".

They could not hear nuances in the music;They had great difficult with more complex rhythms, hands together, and many many other things.

I learned that some bright people can learn the basics easily, but that does not mean they are musically talented, any more than an average bright person can learn to do simple math, but they will never be able to grasp abstract and advanced math concepts, which require "math talent".

I also learned to keep my mouth shut vis-a-vis talent at an early stage.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#2062967 - 04/11/13 02:48 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19658
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Derulux
....I will say simply (hopefully) that I believe anyone can play as well as Evgeny Kissin. I honestly do. I believe that every single person has the ability to do whatever it is they want to do, if they are willing to work hard and persist....

Oy. grin

Count me among those in disbelief over your posts here -- not mainly because of how mistaken they are, but because of how out-of-keeping they are with your posting in general.

The philosophy you express here is admirable, and sweet. Unfortunately, it's very false. The fact is, for better and worse, that we are not all born with equal potentialities, and very very few have the potentiality of a Kissin, whether we're talking about playing the piano or any number of other things.

BTW do you also think we all have the potentiality to be Mickey Mantle? If so, I've been wasting my time on other things.... grin

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#2062968 - 04/11/13 02:48 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4762
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: King Cole
Originally Posted By: JoelW

We can, in theory, measure it.

Hypothetical situation here: two students start playing piano at the age of 8. They have the same teacher. Both students remain with this teacher for five years. In this time, the students have maintained an equal passion and work ethic, but one of the students is noticeably better than the other. The kid has more talent than the other. See?

Talent just has to do with the way the brain is wired up. Everyone is different. Some people's brains are wired up to be great mathematicians, others for music, and everything in between.

Think of it like bodybuilding. An ectomorph will never be able to beat a mesomorph in a bodybuilding contest even if he worked twice as hard as the mesomorph.




Well as a biologist I can say that you are just simply wrong... ectomorph, mesomorph nonsense is simply scientifically unfounded. Look up the scientific studies on how the scientist came to those conclusions. Its laughable. People are more susceptible to obesity due to sugar and starch and some people have slightly better muscle building potential but not by much. And for you to go use such a simple hypothetical is absurd. Two students with the same teacher for 5 years? Really? You say nothing about their parents, motivation, work ethic amount of practice, lifestyle, persistence etc. Honestly it would be a miracle if they were at the exact same playing level. Once again you are trying to simplify a complex issue.

Iq doesn't work either. There have been countless studies that tracked kids with high IQs only to find no correlation with adult success. There was even a study done with Nobel Laureates (the people who make the most significant achievements in their field) and they saw that past an IQ of 120 there was no correlation to achievement which suggests that once one reached a certain level of intelligence things like creativity, persistence, determination etc., take over and become much better indicators of success. But some people are so convinced that this esoteric idea of talent is so profoundly indicative of one's chances of reaching a high playing level that it's almost absurd.

You can't even measure talent and if we can't why does it matter? How in the world does it help anyone by telling them you need to have the talent first? Should that child go on a quest for talent? Should that deprive them of working as hard as anyone else? Human beings are one of the most genetically uniform species on the planet. We are practically identical because humans who can speak languages all descended from a group in the horn of african about 70,000 years ago. The thought that only a few human beings have this special gene that allows them to use complex movements on a piano sounds more and more like an outdated tribal dogmatic concept that has no reasonable utility.



Go practice.

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#2062979 - 04/11/13 03:29 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
Praeludium Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/19/11
Posts: 90
Loc: Besançon, France
I just wanted to say I do agree with Derulux (sounds like we're in a minority).

Talent sounds like a generic name for all the factors we overlook when we're dealing with thing such as being a virtuoso instrumentalist.
Have you ever thought how many things (none of them innate ?) can influence someone to the point of making him doing huge progress ?
It's so big it's hardly conceivable...

What is interesting in the fact that Kissin began to sing subjects from the WTC being 11 months old is that he was (extensively, I guess) exposed to such music and to persons who practice it right from the beginning of his life. When music is a part of you right from the beginning, no wonder it's as natural as walking.





Edited by Praeludium (04/11/13 03:33 PM)

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#2062983 - 04/11/13 03:33 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Hakki]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5286
Loc: Philadelphia
This is getting rather long, but I do want to be fair and respond to everyone to keep the dialogue going. I've put everyone's names in the quotes to which I've responded, so if you want to skip around, feel free. smile

Originally Posted By: Hakki
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Therefore, "talent" is meaningless, and the only thing that matters is hard work and persistence.

This comes up in one guise or another every now and then. Taken to its logical conclusion, if all that mattered was hard work and persistence, then anyone could potentially be a Kissin.

Yet we know it doesn't work that way, and I find it extraordinary that Derulux -whose posts I generally admire- really believes that... or perhaps I'm just misinterpreting.

(Edit: my post crossed with Derulux above.)


Ditto.
I too am having a hard time to believe that he believes what he is saying.
There might be some confusion about semantics, but more or less everybody means, some sort of special natural ability that someone is born with, when talking about talent in the musical world.

I'm not sure if there is or there isn't. I don't believe in the concept of "talent". I believe that a set of characteristics and circumstances that defines who we are and what we become is taken for granted as "talent", but it is not, in and of itself, "talent". (So, perhaps this is "semantical" after all?)

Originally Posted By: JoelW
We can, in theory, measure it.

Hypothetical situation here: two students start playing piano at the age of 8. They have the same teacher. Both students remain with this teacher for five years. In this time, the students have maintained an equal passion and work ethic, but one of the students is noticeably better than the other. The kid has more talent than the other. See?

Measurements "in theory" are not measurements. wink

Let's take your example: you've entirely neglected what happened from age "birth" to age 8. That's neglecting more formative years in which the brain develops than the entire length of your study. I'll throw in a variable that will most assuredly skew your hypothetical situation:

Student "A" was born to a mother and father who are both teachers, athletes, and musicians. From birth, this child is exposed to a wide variety of mathematics, language, physical coordination skill sets and music.

Student "B" was born to parents who, while loving, did not value education, were not intellectual, had no great skill for sports, and did not own a single radio.

It is natural to conclude that student "A" will outperform student "B" in every respect, because student "A" was prepared for the "study" since birth, while student "B" was not at all prepared.

Now, let's throw in another variable that will skew it even further: suppose student "B" excels over student "A". Then what? It must be talent, you say? Hardly.

Student "A" is involved in a tutoring club, plays four sports, reads avidly, and spends maybe 30 minutes every other day practicing. His practice time is not spent actually practicing, but rather, running through pieces.

Student "B" on the other hand, has nothing else to do but play the piano. This student spends hours every day sitting in front of the keys, working on mechanics, motion, technique, sound production-- all skill sets that will allow her to succeed at the piano.

Wow, student "B" wasn't prepared in the least, yet far surpassed student "A"! It must be talent, right? Hardly.

Quote:
Talent just has to do with the way the brain is wired up. Everyone is different. Some people's brains are wired up to be great mathematicians, others for music, and everything in between.

I disagree with this idea. I think everyone's brain is basically wired the same way at birth, and that, as a result of your surroundings, what you are exposed to, and what you take an interest to, your brain re-wires itself to succeed in that thing.

Trouble for adults is, you may now have different interests than when you were 10 months old. So, you may have to develop what someone else has already developed. But at some point, everyone had to develop that thing. No one comes into this world "naturally" able to do anything.

Quote:
Think of it like bodybuilding. An ectomorph will never be able to beat a mesomorph in a bodybuilding contest even if he worked twice as hard as the mesomorph.

I've never met someone who worked their tail off, and worked correctly, who didn't see results on par with how they worked. If it should become impossible for this person to see the results, then it falls under my "if you're missing a hand" disclaimer in what I think was my first post on the subject. wink

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I will only say I cannot agree with virtually a single thing you wrote. Just one point: Did you realize that what Kissin did at his audition most people can't do after a lifetime of practice and he clearly hadn't spent endless hours learning how to do this because he was so young at the time? Hence the title of the video "The Gift of Music". To deny that someone like Kissin has a gift or talent really makes no sense.

That's fine. I'm not arguing for the sake of persuasion, but merely expressing my views.

I didn't hear anything special that Kissin did in his audition. If, for some reason, he had never improvised a day in his life, and that was his first attempt -- and the result was on par with the expectation of excellence that Kissin's name implies -- then I should say there is an interesting example. But we have none of that evidence available, and I'm sure he practiced improvisation ahead of the audition.

I can improvise, too. It's not that special a gift if you practice it. I heard a guy on a Carnival Cruise ten years ago who was probably the single best improv pianist I ever heard. Nobody knows his name (I do, but I won't repost it unless he were okay with it). He couldn't make it as a classical musician.

Originally Posted By: Damon
Can everyone potentially jump as high as Dick Fosbury, sing as low as Barry White, understand math as well as Isaac Newton? Do you deny physical and mental differences between people as factors?

No, absolutely not. I'm glad you brought up this clarifying point. smile

I did say, in one of my first posts, that "people missing hands" could obviously not play two-handed repertoire. If you can't reach a tenth, you're not going to be able to do it no matter how hard you try. If you're 4'7", you're not going to be able to jump as high as somebody 6'5". You have less muscle.

So, if you want to talk about hand size, then yes, there is certainly an argument for why nobody can play "like Kissin". Nobody has hands exactly his size.

But many people have beaten Dick's record. I believe the current world record is nearly a foot taller.

Two of your examples rely on physical characteristics. The third relies on an intangible. Isaac Newton. I would argue that every undergrad coming out of a university today understands math and physics better than Newton. Why? Newton's theories were wrong. Einstein was not the first to discover that.

Originally Posted By: rocket88
If you can't measure something, that does not mean that it doesn't exist. There are many things that we cannot measure, yet they exist, and have an impact upon our lives. For example, we sometimes cannot measure the extended long-term negative effects of a new medical drug, yet the drug certainly does exist.

There were two parts to my answer for a reason. Please understand both parts before assuming to understand what I wrote. Once you do, I'll be happy to reply. wink

Originally Posted By: JoelW
I don't think anyone is going to convince Derulux.

Most-likely not. Unless someone has tangible evidence. But so far, every shred of it is intangible. It's perception, not reality. Of course, we are all entitled to our own perceptions, but nobody will convince me of anything based on a perception. smile


Originally Posted By: King Cole
Loosely paraphrased: "everything you said."

Thank you so very much for chiming in. I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said, except that humans developed 70,000 years ago. I wasn't there to see it. grin

Originally Posted By: Mark C
Count me among those in disbelief over your posts here -- not mainly because of how mistaken they are, but because of how out-of-keeping they are with your posting in general.

The philosophy you express here is admirable, and sweet. Unfortunately, it's very false. The fact is, for better and worse, that we are not all born with equal potentialities, and very very few have the potentiality of a Kissin, whether we're talking about playing the piano or any number of other things.

BTW do you also think we all have the potentiality to be Mickey Mantle? If so, I've been wasting my time on other things....

Yeah, I have a few boxes on which I stand. Don't mess with kids trying to do something to the best of their ability. Don't treat other people like crap. Don't tell me talent exists. grin

As for the Mickey Mantle comment, I was a switch-hitter myself growing up through early high school. I batted 3rd in the lineup, played center field, hit homers from both sides of the plate, led the league in stolen bases, and who knows what would have happened if I stuck with it? But I chose other passions (martial arts, golf, track & field, music, and a few others). I have heard, however, that pretty much every one of Mantle's records has been beaten, so obviously there are some other people pretty clearly able to do what he did, no? wink

It's almost against the Yankee religion to say that, I know--Mantle is still my favorite all-time baseball player--but it's true. Same with Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Maris, Berra, Mattingly, Boggs, Rose, Williams, Mays, Mays-Hayes ("Major League" reference there), and everybody else who played the game. You think Hank Aaron holds a record Ruth wouldn't have crushed if he hadn't led the league in walks? You think if just one of Foreman's punches landed squarely on Ali's jaw, that we'd still remember Ali as the greatest boxer of all-time? It's all subjective. There isn't a shred of "fact" anywhere in their accomplishments about "talent".

Are they the best at what they do? Yes. Is it because they had some "free ride" or "easy time" called "talent"? Absolutely not. It's because they worked harder, longer, and better than everybody else.
_________________________
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